|Teal and peach. Two colors you havent seen together since the 80s (and havent wanted to), but which are sure to surface in abundance at this years Bridesmaid Ball, a fundraiser for United Way of the Bluegrasscelebrating the tackiest, most horrendous confections Lexingtons closets have to offer. Do your pumps match your earrings? If not, dye them now.
And its not just for the girlspowder-blue tuxedos are encouraged for the men in attendance. Add a ruffled shirt? Sure. So much the better. Too tight? Better still? White shoes or belt? Youll be welcomed with open arms.
The obvious question is: what POSSESSED United Way to come up with this event
. Just when the emotional scars were starting to heal from the ghosts of weddings past (to say nothing of the physical scars from all that melting polyester)?
Carrie Boling, Marketing Director, has a reasonable explanation: Before we started planning the Bridesmaids Ball we conducted research including community surveys. It was overwhelming that women and young professionals in Central Kentucky want to be involved in the community through volunteering and fundraisers. In particular, they were looking for a fundraiser that wasnt just a male dominated golf scramble or the same-old dinner and reception. The Bridesmaids Ball has worked for other communities tremendously and we look forward to making it a landmark event in Lexingtongiving women and those in their 20s, 30s and 40s a chance to be involved.
So if the traditional rubber-chicken dinner isnt for you, United Way has provided an alternative.
Kara Hamilton, Committee Chair, is heartened by the community response so far. This has been an amazing event to plan. It is the only fundraiser that Ive ever been a part of where people are calling us to give donations, to be active on the planning committee and to be involved somehow.
Event and Communications Coordinator Sara Jefferies sees the event as a kind of a
Were helping to make honest women out of those brides who think their bridesmaids will get more than one use out of that hideous peach taffeta tea length gown with the puffy sleeves and butt bows. And what fella hasnt wanted to wear a baby blue tuxedo?
Kathy Plomin, United Ways executive director, sees this event as a logical way to reach younger donors and volunteers who want to get involved, but often feel shut out by the traditional (some would argue: dull) black tie dinners and golf tourneys. She says, We are really interested in targeting the younger generation that may not know about us. For us, this is more of an outreach than a fundraiser.
This comes at an important time for the organization, as she explains, We are in the process of transitioning from a traditional fundraiser model to a community leader and role model.
Thats a process thats going to require new blood.
We realized we were missing generation X. Our main goal for this event is to reach out and connect with the young professionals and young women of this community in particular, Plomin says. We want to teach them about United Way and our goals and ideals.
A good sport herself, Plomin confesses, Weve all been there. Ive kept some of my bridesmaids dresses even though I never thought Id get to wear them again. Now everyone has a chance to dig out their old dresses for one more night, though she remained tight-lipped about her possible selection.
If you plan to go, all the organizers agree its best to err on the side of bad taste. Jefferies advises, The worse, the better. Its best if its tacky and doesnt match and hurts your eyes a little.
Plomin chimes in, This is a great time to wear your old banana clip or put your hair in a side ponytail.Ummmmmm. Okkkkkkk. It IS for a good cause. Just keep repeating it. Believe.
What to Wear, Where to Go
The Bridesmaids Ball will be complete with dancing, door prizes and contests such as ugliest dress and most outrageous hair to highlight the unfortunate fashion choices many of us have made, or have been made to wear over the years. This event is aimed at women and young professionalssingles and couples alike.The details:
Date: Friday, August 6
Time: 8pm-1am, after party at Bigg Blue Martini from 1am until 2:30am.
Place: Bigg Blue Martini and the Radissons Grand Ballroom
Entertainment: Long Duk Dong will play hits from the 70s, 80s, and 90s;Elvis impersonator will welcome all guests and will play a short set; DJ to take requests; photos available, both candid and posed in front of backdrop.
Awards: most retro, most outrageious hair, ugliest dress, tackiest tuxedo. Awards include a gift certificate to Joli Salon and Day Spa and a Tuxedo rental from Genos Formal Wear.
Other: silent auction, special martini bars, and free wedding cake.
Tickets: $30 at Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Radisson Plaza Hotel, United Way of the Bluegrass or ww.uwbg.org. Special group rates are available at www.uwbg.org$25 per person for groups of 4 or more people.
Partner businesses: The following downtown restaurants will be offering dinner discounts to Bridesmaids Ball ticket holders Friday, August 6: anna belles, Bellinis, Bistro 147, Columbia steakhouse, and Metropol. Exact discounts listed at www.uwbg.org.
The following salons will be offering discounts in honor of the Bridesmaids Ball on August 6: Douglass and Associates, Ecotage at Lazarus/Macys, Posh, Kendalls salon, Planet Salon and Rain Spa, Joli Salon and Day Spa, Lexington Hair Design. Exact discounts specified at www.uwbg.org.n